cloud phone services

Cloud Phone Systems for Beginners: Part 2

Hopefully, you have read our first part of Cloud Phone Systems for Beginners so you are all brushed up on what a Cloud Phone System is and the advantages of incorporating them into your business. Since communication is such a vital aspect of conducting business, moving your phone systems to the cloud is a natural fit for improving business operations. Now, you should be ready for the next step – embedding a cloud phone system into your business.

Requirements for Using a Cloud Phone System

To install and operate a cloud phone system, businesses will need access to a high-speed internet connection and either some specialized IP phone equipment or IP to analog adapters. A high-speed internet connection is required for cloud phone systems to guarantee that end users will receive the system uptime and service quality promised by the provider. Since a cloud phone system is run over internet data lines and not traditional phone lines, internet speed can affect the quality of a cloud phone system.

Businesses will also need adapters or specialized IP phone equipment for calls to function over internet lines. Fortunately, these adapters are relatively inexpensive and easy to install, making it easy to convert to a cloud-based system using your current business phone equipment.

Helpful Features of Cloud Phone Systems

In a highly competitive business environment, companies need features that can meet changing business demands. Cloud phone systems offer all of the same features available through traditional landline business phones and many new features that can help companies expand their offerings and create a dynamic experience for their customers.


Cloud phone systems are much better equipped to support remote workforces and mobile teams. Cloud-based voicemail and work from anywhere features help users stay in the loop while working remotely and provide the flexibility to forward local lines to mobile phones when users are out of the office.

Customer Service

Businesses can support large customer service infrastructure using cloud phone systems. Features such as a virtual receptionist, call monitoring/recording, call transfers and routing, and on-hold music can provide the functionality and customer experience of a large call center without the necessity for expensive infrastructure.

Remote Workforce

Teams operating in different locations can stay connected using a cloud-based conference bridge and online meeting rooms. Cloud phone systems go above and beyond the functionality of traditional phone systems by offering online team collaboration tools for project management and workflow.


Since cloud phone systems are relatively low maintenance, businesses can operate with a lean support team. Reputable cloud phone systems provide 24/7 support, online training materials, and a simple cloud-based user interface for managing the system at a moment’s notice. Business leaders can also do a much better job at managing communications costs, since cloud phone systems do not require installation and maintenance of a new phone line every time a new employee comes on board.

Cloud Phone Systems for Beginners

Cloud Phone Systems for Beginners: Part 1

Businesses are increasingly looking for ways to take advantage of cloud technology. Using the internet has transformed the way that businesses operate, and customers have come to expect the ease and efficiency with which cloud solutions allow businesses to operate.

Since communication is such a vital aspect of conducting business, moving your phone systems to the cloud is a natural fit for improving business operations. A cloud phone system offers many new features and advantages not available through traditional business phone systems, and moving your business phone systems to the cloud is easier than you might expect. To learn more about cloud phone systems and how they can benefit your business, read about the basics of cloud phone systems below.

What is a Cloud Phone System?

Cloud Phone Systems are integrated phone systems for businesses that function much like traditional landline phone systems, but they provide many additional features by taking advantage of call routing via an internet connection. Cloud-based phone systems are often referred to as VoIP systems, or Voice over Internet Protocol.

With cloud phone services, the end-user experience will look and feel much like any other business phone system, but companies can benefit from significant cost and resource savings through easier setup and management of the system. Managers and business owners can maintain a cloud phone system through an online portal, allowing them to make system updates immediately. Furthermore, since the system is connected to the cloud, there are several features available that can improve operational efficiency, reduce operating costs, and improve customer service.

Advantages of Cloud Phone Systems

Compared to traditional landline phone systems, cloud phone services offer several advantages for businesses of all sizes.

  • Automatic updates – IT staff are not burdened with managing complicated in-house phone equipment and maintaining system updates. The cloud-based phone service provider will run all necessary bug fixes and software updates automatically from the cloud, freeing up your internal staff to focus on more important issues.
  • Scalability – As your company grows, you will likely need additional phone extensions for new employees and more features to support your business objectives. With a traditional phone system, that can mean costly installation charges and line access fees, but with a cloud phone system, you can easily add and remove services and lines from an online portal as they are needed.
  • Reliability – Since the software that supports a cloud-based system is run on a remote server, a reliable cloud phone service provider will have backups in place to keep the system running smoothly during any weather instances or technical issues. This structure allows them to guarantee a 99.999% system uptime, which is equivalent to only 6 minutes of downtime per year.
future of cloud solutions

The Future of Cloud Technology in Business

Thanks in part to improved telecommunications infrastructure and efforts such as the Connect America Fund, cloud technology is rapidly evolving. As more individuals and businesses come to rely on high speed internet, cloud-based solutions will become an increasingly integral part of business operations. The recent emergence of 5G technology has also pushed the needle, allowing cloud-based service providers to develop more robust offerings while still providing near-instant product delivery.

Research by Bain & Company reveals that demand for cloud technology accounted for 70% of IT market growth from 2012-2015, and it is projected to remain steady at 60% of continued market growth through 2020. By combining newer automation technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) with cloud-based services, business owners can improve operational efficiency using cloud technology in new and creative ways, including:

  • Automated customer service – Chatbots, automated phone assistants, and other customer service automation support are already available through many SaaS offerings, but will continue to improve in their ability to efficiently address a variety of customer service issues without the need for human-to-human interaction.
  • Inventory and logistics control – Cloud technology will continue to improve efficiency in labor control, warehouse space, and logistical operations in large manufacturing firms and warehouses.
  • Centralized HR and payroll processing – Cloud-based HR systems eliminate the need for an on-site HR professional at every physical location. Instead, businesses with multiple locations can process payroll and other HR functions through a centralized hub by pulling data from each individual location through the cloud.
  • Biometrics – Emerging companies like 23andMe use the power of cloud computing to process DNA and genomic analyses. Police departments and other forensic organizations are also using cloud-based biometric programs to conduct case research and coordinate cross-departmental tracking efforts. 
  • Medical records – As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, healthcare providers were required to utilize an electronic medical records system by January 2014. As the process of tracking, updating, and securing patient data continues to develop, cloud-services will adapt to meet this need.
  • Phone services and virtual communication systems – VoIP service providers and other internet-based communications services are being increasingly utilized by businesses to cut costs and improve operational efficiency.

As more businesses continue to embrace cloud technology and demand a wider variety of product and service offerings, cloud-based providers will work to remain competitive in an emerging marketplace by taking advantage of future developments in cloud computing. 

evolution of the cloud

Evolution of Cloud Technology in Businesses

With buzzwords like “Artificial Intelligence” and “Internet of Things” taking center stage in many technology-based news outlets, it can be easy to assume that cloud technology is old hat. However, many of today’s emerging technologies would not be possible without the evolution of cloud-based devices and services.

For business owners, understanding this evolutionary process can mean the difference between wasting tech dollars on inefficient equipment and making smart investments in cloud-based technology that will stand the test of time.

What is Cloud Technology?

Cloud technology uses the power of the internet to offer individual users and businesses the opportunity to access both hardware and software systems remotely. Without cloud technology, businesses would have to invest heavily in developing and maintaining localized software applications to run the business, as well as the physical infrastructure required to support those applications.

With cloud technology, businesses can piggyback off the infrastructure of larger companies by accessing their programs, storage space, and networking power through the internet. Businesses can access public or private clouds, or they can utilize a hybrid of both. Public clouds are available to anyone over the internet who is willing to meet the registration and fee requirements set by the service provider. Examples of public clouds would include Facebook or Gmail. Private clouds are typically set behind a firewall with access restricted only to internal company users.

A brief history of cloud technology in businesses

While social networks and cloud-based email providers seem commonplace today, the history of cloud technology extends back less than an average human lifespan. Below are several of the main highlights along the evolution of cloud technology:

  • 1969 – J.C.R. Licklider helps to conceptualize and develop the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, or ARPANET, which was a primitive version of the internet that allowed multiple users to access computer resources from different physical locations.
  • 1972 – IBM develops the concept of virtualization with their Virtual Machine (VM) operating system.
  • 1997 – “Cloud Computing” was first defined as a term by Professor Ramnath Chellappa; companies then began offering cloud computing services to businesses in the late 1990s.
  • 1999 – Salesforce was founded to pioneer the Software-as-a-Service business model for software applications.
  • 2004 – Amazon Web Services (AWS) was launched publicly, offering on-demand cloud-based programs and services.
  • 2006 – Google launched Google Docs services, allowing users to create, store, and share documents in the cloud.
  • 2007 – Netflix launched video streaming services, allowing users to access movies and other video content without the use of physical DVDs.
  • 2011 – Apple launched its iconic iCloud platform, giving users access to a variety of content and services remotely.

Modern Cloud Technology Services

Cloud tools, hardware, and services are already a routine part of many modern business operations. The cloud-based product licensing and delivery model is commonly broken down into several sub-categories:

  • Software as a Service (SaaS) – Businesses can subscribe to and access software applications via the internet.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) – Businesses can utilize this service to develop their own custom applications for internal company use.
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – Large cloud technology providers offer virtual infrastructure, such as servers and data storage, to smaller businesses that are lacking in physical infrastructure.
  • Desktop as a Service (DaaS) – Businesses can access virtual machines and virtual operating systems through the cloud.
  • Backup as a Service (BaaS) – Instead of hosting localized backups of important company data, businesses can utilize a BaaS offering to manage cloud-based backups.

Although the above sub-categories represent the most common cloud-based services, additional nomenclature and associated categories are constantly evolving. Some more recent cloud services include Managed Software as a Service (MSaaS), Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS), Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), and Information Technology Management as a Service (ITMaaS).

As more businesses continue to embrace cloud technology and demand a wider variety of product and service offerings, cloud-based providers will work to remain competitive in an emerging marketplace by taking advantage of future developments in cloud computing. 

benefits of cloud solutions

Benefits of an Integrated Contact Cloud Solution

Although moving your contact center to the cloud may seem like a daunting task, the benefits likely outweigh the costs. Localized contact center solutions are inefficient, inflexible, costly, and damaging to the customer experience. Working with a reputable cloud-based provider can get your contact center operational quickly so you can reap the following benefits:

  • Scalability – As your call center grows, your business can easily add on features and services need to expand your operation without planning for a large expenditure outlay. Cloud systems also allow for easy addition or removal of devices, allowing companies to handle seasonal fluctuation in communication volume with ease.  
  • Better Cost Control – With many cloud solutions, you only pay for the services you need, which allows for better cost control of resources. Investments in hardware and software are minimal with a cloud solution, and system maintenance and security costs are reduced significantly.
  • Increased Engagement – In a recent market study conducted by Customer Contact Week Digital, increased digital engagement was reported as the #1 priority for contact center professionals in 2019. Customers expect to speak with a live person who can help address their concerns as quickly as possible, and cloud-based solutions can help achieve that goal through efficient call routing and fewer dropped or mishandled calls.
  • Customization of the Customer Experience – By integrating with a variety of customer management and data programs, cloud solutions enable businesses to better understand customer needs and adapt their processes accordingly. Automated programs can further enhance the customer experience by documenting communication attempts, initiating follow up, and sending digital resources to the customer based on a predefined set of rules.
  • Improved Quality and Responsiveness – Cloud-based solutions facilitate remote workforces and instant communication with supervisors or other agents for assistance when needed. These features create happier workers, who in turn provide higher quality service to customers. Call management features also provide greater responsiveness by routing calls correctly and efficiently.
  • Enhanced Security – Cloud solutions are more reliable than localized systems, and cloud service providers handle important security measures and product updates on your behalf. This makes for a more secure environment without the need for additional IT staff.
  • Flexibility for your Team – Contact center agents enjoy flexible working hours and remote locations, but they also appreciate the flexibility of a cloud-based system that can simplify the work required to properly care for customers. Integrated interfaces provide access to cross-functional data, which allows them to understand a customer’s entire experience and saves time.

Utilizing an integrated contact cloud solution will give your company a competitive edge in handling customer service issues. Exploring these benefits and how to best harness them for your business will help you to identify and develop memorable customer experiences to meet your clients’ changing needs.

Cloud Solutions for Contact Centers

As the technology that supports cloud computing becomes more robust, companies are looking for innovative ways to conduct business through cloud-based platforms. Customer service teams can now utilize integrated cloud-based solutions to run a fully operational call center without the need for expensive equipment. Cloud-based solutions offer contact centers a myriad of other benefits that make exploring this option worthwhile.

What is a contact center?

A contact center is a central hub that handles all communication with customers or clients. Contact centers go beyond a traditional call center by handling communications via chat, email, social media, and even video feeds. Since contact centers employ multiple agents handling many customers through various communication channels, they need a solid, reliable communications infrastructure with applications that support their operational goals.

Cloud Solutions for Contact Centers

Cloud solutions improve contact center efficiency by providing tools, features, and applications that integrate multiple communication channels. By utilizing a cloud-based solution, companies can access many different features without having to purchase multiple separate programs. Cloud solutions can also facilitate agents operating in multiple office locations, or even remote workers. A cloud solution will typically offer the following features to streamline contact center efficiency:

  • Time management tools to track service and wait times
  • Call routing and management tools to send customers to the correct department as quickly as possible and allow supervisors the opportunity to monitor calls as needed
  • Channel integrations to allow customers to communicate with agents via a variety of platforms
  • Detailed dashboards and analytics to provide accurate and timely metrics for decision making
  • Customer service and support to manage tech support issues quickly without the need for an in-house IT team
  • Integrated software applications to streamline business operations and share data between different business teams